tv Your Money CNN September 1, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
sick. here are some of the things that happen. people's pupils dom a pinpoint. they get headaches, excessive sweating, con convulsions, res teary failure. people can survive and that means they didn't get that much or can get away that doesn't have gas. your glands and muscles have off switches so they're not working all the time. a nerve gas turns off that off switch, so your muscles and glands are working all the time. you actually can become exhausted, collapse, become paralyzed and eventually die. is there an antidote to nerve gases like serin, atro pine, an injection and best to get it as soon as possible. fredericka. >> thank you so much, elizabeth cohen. we're entering your second hour of the "newsroom" on this sunday avenue. i'm fredericka whitfield.
a look at our top stories. the u.s. congress now taking a hard look at chemical weapons allegations against syria. they're in a closed door meeting this avenue. plus, u.s. secretary of state john kerry say this is more shocking evidence of a chemical weapons attack. >> it has tested positive for signatures of serin. so each day that goes by, this case is even stronger. >> that full interview coming up. here's a big question lawmakers have to weigh. how much will it cost to take action in syria? right now on capitol hill, members of congress are in a closed door briefing with the obama administration.
what have you been able to see from that meeting? >> reporter: we've seen fair number of lawmakers from the house and senate go in. i have to say considering the fact it is labor day sunday, amazing how many lawmakers we have seen come past us to the auditorium in the capitol classified to get the briefing. we saw members of the administration among the brie r briefers come in as well, everybody looking like they're here on a weekend, which is exactly what they are and to see what they hope to accomplish, meaning the obama administration is to turn the skepticism we are all hearing from many of these lawmakers into a yes vote. the other thing i should underscore, i and other members of our hill team have been gathering talking to these lawmakers is that there is a lot of skepticism and a good number of undecided lawmakers both in the senate and the house. this is really the beginning of what is a very important really crucial legacy kind of
full-court press for the obama administration to get this yes vote or authorization which will not happen until the week after next. >> dana, what more can you tell us about this planned meeting between president obama and senator john mccain, how this came about and what is expected as early as tomorrow? >> reporter: this meeting tomorrow is going to be an example of one of those critical lobbying moments. john mccain has been one of the most outspoken lawmakers being aggressive and needing to aid the rebels in syria and trying to do away with the threat bashar al assad poses. he is not yet a yes vote on authorization still. it's because he wants more information. listen to what he told reporters earlier today about what he expects from this meeting at the white house tomorrow. want to talk to the president. i want to find out whether there is a plan and a strategy. i want to find out whether this is just a pinprick that somehow bashar al assad can trumpet he
defeated the united states of america. but i will say that if congress overrules a decision of the president of the united states on an issue of national securitied, that could set a catastrophic precedent in the future. it would be very dangerous precedent to be setting. >> fredericka, i thought what john mccain said was important and telling for a couple of reasons. number one, he has been somebody who wanted aggressive action by the united states with regard to syria and even he is skeptical about this authorization vote because he doesn't think maybe it goes far enough. that is what the administration is dealing with, people who don't want go in maybe at all and those who don't think this goes far enough. the second thing and maybe the most telling thing he said is that he is concerned about congress not voting to help the president effectively and voting down something that could embarrass not just the president but more importantly the united states on the world stage. that, i think, tells you a lot. if he -- if he gets on board with this, he will be a very
important player in lobbying particularly republicans who might not be sure whether they'll vote on this. >> dana bash, thank you so much for that on capitol hill. keep us posted. >> the u.s. military is ready and has been for a while now. now, the waiting continues after the president's decision to ask congress for approval to strike syria. let's bring in barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent. are you sensing any concerns at the pentagon how this delay could impact the effectiveness of a strike or bode well for the assad regime? >> it is a classic two-edged sword, isn't it, fredericka? for the assad regime, there is intelligence, we're not told what it is the u.s. has, that the syrian forces are moving around a bit, dispersing in
syria. >> will seek authorization for force from the representatives of congress. aides said the president decided to go in a different direction at almost the lasts minute. he made the stunning plans to seek congressional authorizing and then went for a walk. a 45 minute walk with his chief of staff, dennis is mcdonough. he announced his decision to his security staff spark ag heated debate and started to spread the word calling vice president biden, defense secretary chuck hagel and saturday morning he convened a meeting with intelligence officials to finalize the decision. >> the question is what do we collectively, what are we in the world going to do about it? >> reporter: just hours before the president's abrupt move, defense secretary kerry made an impassioned plea for action.
>> instead of being tucked in their beds at home we saw children lying side by side sprawled on a hospital floor all of them dead from assad's gas. >> reporter: aides say what kerry and the rest of the president's team did not know is mr. obama had been privately kicking around the idea of seeking approval from congress for days. as kerry was turning up the heat, the president seemed to be turning it down. >> i am very clear the world generally is world weary. certainly, the united states has gone through over a decade of war. the american people understandably want us to be focused on the business of rebuilding our economy here and putting people back to work. and i assure you nobody ends up being more war-weary than me. >> reporter: as it turns out administration officials say, the president was listening to members of congress who wanted in on the process. >> i think it's incumbent to
always obey the constitution. the rule of law is something our country is founded on and ask congress to come together. >> the 64 of us who signed our letter want to make sure congress is called back in session, debate the issues, facts and vote whether or not we should engage militarily. >> reporter: on saturday, the president got back on known calling house speaker john boehner and other congressional leaders. >> here's my question for every member of congress and every member of the global community. what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price. >> reporter: just minutes later the president departed the white house with biden to play a round of golf leaving administration officials scrambling to show a united front despite that fierce discussion inside the west wing, aides say, the president's team is now fully on board. as for the defense secretary, one senior u.s. official said as a former senator whose views on war are well-known it's not hard for chuck hagel to agree with the president.
another official said of kerry no concerns. he was in the senate 29 years and made consultation with congress a huge my opriority a e huge -- since he became secretary of state. >> in my view, u.s. military force is justified only to protect the vital national security interest of the united states. to date, the administration has not focused on those interests. >> i don't see where america is threatened. i don't see where our national security is threatened. perhaps between now and the time we get back on september the 9th, the president will have information that would allow the congress to effectively see where this danger is. >> administration officials say the president still reserves the right to take military action as one top official put it the commander in chief still has the authority to act even if congress says no. fredericka. >> thanks so much.
a few minutes ago we got word saudi arabia is calling for international action in syria. the saudi foreign minister said the syrian regime has crossed all the lines with its tierney. it's time for us as the international community to take responsibility and put an end to this tragedy entering its third year. the syrian regime has lost its legs massty within the arab world and universally. >> attending an arab league of foreign ministers in cairo made this statement. just how much of a gamble is taking this to congress for him and what if congress says no? we'll asking someone who has advised presidents for 30 years. [ male announcer ] a guide to good dipping.
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so president obama says he wants congress to weigh in on a military strike against the assad regime in syria. he's going to be talking to congressional leaders. tomorrow, the president is set to meet with republican senator john mccain who has been calling for action in syria for a long time now and calling very loudly. david gergen is cnn senior political analyst and also been an advisor for presidents from nixon to clinton. is this a gamble for the obama presidency to call the shot, say, i want to strike syria, but then turn around and say, we're going to put this in the hands of congress? >> it is indeed a gamble, fredericka. he conceivably could lose it just as david cameron lost in an upset in the british parliament. i think, though, he's likely to
win it. >> why? >> if you go back in american history, there have been 18 occasions since the first world war when presidents have gone to congress asking for approval for military action. on every single instance, 18 out of 18, the congress said yes. i'd be very surprised if, when they look over the abyss at what would happen to -- if he lost, the crippling of a president for national security purposes over the next three years, that's why i think you saw john mccain today saying as much as he disagreed with the limited nature of what's intended now he really thinks it's very important the president not be defeated in congress, he not be stripped off the authority to act. >> he said it would be a travesty. why is that the case? what if congress says no and what if the president is, you know, really left high and dry? >> well, that is obviously a possibility. i don't think the president would then use force if he got a
clear message, public opinion were against him and he was fairly isolated. david cameron wanted to use force. after the parliamentary vote he said, we're not doing that anymore. the larger point is the president goes and asks for such a limited air strike in effect and is turned down, it is going to cripple him as commander in chief. let's say he's facing iran and says, if you have nuclear weapons, i will come after you. strir asterisk, big asterisk, if congress amoves and they may well not. i don't think the congress will put him in that position. they will swallow hard some of them and a lot of them will hold their noses. at the end of the day i believe the president will squeak through this. i've seen this in the past. it's a very difficult vote for some lawmakers but that's what they're elected to do. >> you've advised so many presidents from nixon to
clinton. say, you were advising president obama and perhaps he had confided in you, as he did with his chief of staff, i've had a change of heart here, i'm thinking i'd like to turn to congress, would you advise him to think otherwise gore along with it just as -- otherwise or would you go along with it as senators hs said we've all been this boat before and with you on this? >> in normal circumstances the white house president and president's aides would advise him do not go to congress every time you have small military action. this is very limited. when president reagan wanted to hit libya with action he did not go to congress. when president clinton wanted to go to kosovo, he did not go to congress. normally you protect the president from going to congress every time. in this particular instance, and
it's an isolated incident, we had a president almost completely isolated. he looked like he was the lone ranger out there, didn't have the international support, didn't have the u.n., didn't have public support, didn't have the congress. particularly when david cameron lost in parliament that turned things. after that, he needed somewhere. i think he's going to -- i think he'll build it up. i have to tell you this. at the same time, i think at the end of the day he will probably win this and probably did the right thing going to congress. the way he got there has left -- has raised a lot of new questions about his leadership. this has been messy. >> in what way? what do you mean? >> they look like they're winging it. you know, from day-to-day, you never know quite where they are. >> opposed to being thoughtful, a lot of his advocates say this is who he is. he likes to think things through and he may change his mind based on that but he stands by his own decision. you don't see it that way? >> take the drawing of the red line a year ago, they had not
thought it through. he clearly did not want to do this and he made that statement casually not a thought through statement. look at this last week. >> you don't think he meant it. >> we heard the military is coming, there will be actions. everybody thought when he went in the rose garden he would announce military was under way. we had what is near daily news, ready, aim, hold fire. that gives people a lot of pause do they have a firm grip on the wheel on these issues. it was only a few days ago we were hearing it's urgent that we go in because assad is dispersing his forces, we're not going to be able to find them easily and not able to hit them. now, we're told, wait a minute, it doesn't make a difference if we go in three weeks from now, four weeks from now. >> at some point i'm hearing from you, either way, whether congressional approval or not, this process, this portion of this process is damaging for the president and his legacy? >> i think it -- yes. i think people, assad and the
iranians may misinterpret it. i think they need to settle down and be very careful from here on out and give people. i think john kerry's done a good job the way he's gone out on television and appeared the last 24 hours. the president has done a better job yesterday in this statement. they look more decisive and cleaner. they have to keep that up now. the there's a sense maybe they really don't have a grip on this. >> david gergen, thank you. >> thanks. just the talk of an attack in syria can impact u.s. and world economies. one impact, the price of oil. we'll tell you what a penny rise in gasoline could costs america everyd everyday. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights.
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as the united states prepares for possible military action against syria, the assad regime is likely preparing as well. tom foreman explains what he likely might be doing right now. >> every hour and day the debate goes on is more time syria can no doubt get ready. just a few days ago there would have been satellite and radar and telephone signals and all sort ofs things u.s. forces could hone in on. now, you would expect something different? >> absolutely, tom. assad may be a monster but he's very clever. he has unplugged all systems that emanate a signal. he's intentionally going to black to make it harder to find him. >> if the u.s. knows where a facility is, it's hard to know what would even be there now. for example if you had an office that handled radar communications or command and control, what would be in that facility now? >> until we open the door, we don't know. we think we know but we have to assume at this point all the contents of those fixed facilities have been packaged up
and distributed throughout the countryside. >> what about things like missiles and rockets? >> if a weapons system isn't being used it's in a wear ris son facility and see them dispersed to places they wouldn't be effective like underneath overpasseoverpasses. >> you can't move air fields but you can move aircraft. >> they are probably in iran. >> when we invaded air rack, saddan -- invaded iraq, saddan buried some aircraft in the dirt. >> this is different from what we've seen from the israelis who really emphasized the element of surprise. >> the israelis won't give up the element of surprise and won't spend time build ag coalition. when they strike a facility in eastern syria and destroyed it. just last month they attacked syria anti-ship cruise missiles in latakia and destroyed those
as well. >> when did they find out about those attacks >> when they were finned. >> that's a differed approach that both the country and syr-- syria and the united states are contemplating right now. >> and it could threaten the already fragile global recovery. >> just the threat of u.s. strikes in syria is already affecting your money. the worst day on the dow since june rushed out of stocks and into the perceived safety of gold and government bonds. surging to an 18 month high. now, syria is a major oil producer and sanctions have reduced their oil exports. traders worry the violence could spread disrupting supply. syria has political, military links to iran, hezbollah and
russia. the unintended chain reaction could push your gas prices higher. just a one cent increase at the pump takes $4 million out of the pockets of american consumers everyday. >> so the last thing the global economy needs today is another headwind that would slow what is already a very sluggish recovery. >> christine romans, cnn, new york. >> thanks so much. what makes syrian president bashar al assad tick? he is praised by some and feared by many. coming up, we take you inside the mind of a dictator. ♪ nothing says, "i'm happy to see you too," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone.
newsdesk. a team from the obama administration is giving a classified briefing on syria to members of congress this avenue. secretary of state john kerry said blood and hair samples tested positive for signature offers serin gas and called the case to take action quote-unquote overwhelming. president obama is seeking congressional approval for a military strike. in california, firefighters are making headway fighting a fire in yosemite national park now about 40% contained. more than 222,000 acres have burned. the warm and dry conditions won't make fighting it's easier. in florida, forensic researchers have found human bones on the grounds of a closed reform school. they began digging in the town of marianna west of tallahassee saturday. some former residents in their skiktsz and 70s have told stories of brutal beatings and
stories of boys disappearing without explanation more than 50 years ago. number four, so far so good for diana nyad, more than 30 hours into her swim across the keys. it is her fifth attempt to become the only person to swim the 103 miles without a shark cage, flippers or wet suit, the 64-year-old is wearing a mask to prevent jelly fish stings to her tongue. number 5, a veteran british broadcaster, david frost has died. he was a fixture on american and british television, but he was best known for his revealing interviews with president richard nixon. frost died of an apparent heart attack aboard the cruise ship, queen elizabeth. david frost was 74. very few westerners have had access to the family of bashar
al assad. and working with his wife and access to the dictator. >> it's pleasant on the outside but when he's making decisions with those closest to him he acts with cold brutal calculations. this time those calculation mays have betrayed him. bashar al assad some analysts say may have badly misread the signals, believed it when his cronies told him president obama wouldn't enforce his red line on chemical weapons a staggering miscalculation some say driven by his own unpredictable modes of behavior. >> he is quite moody and goes from one side to the other, bouts of rationality and unrationality. >> andrew tabler is one of the few westerners who had contact with him and worked with his wife and describes him as
delusional, conspiracy minded and persuasive and coming across in interviews as the antithesis of a murderous dictator. when asked about reports he threatened lebanon's prime minister. >> it's not my nature to threaten anybody. i'm a very frank and i wouldn't threaten. >> reporter: in 2011 when abc's barbara walters pressed him whether he ordered his forces to fire on the opposition? >> they're not my forces. they are military forces belong to the government. i doesn't on't own them. i'm president. >> you have to give the order. >> no, no. >> not by your command? >> no one's command. there was no command to kill or to be brutal. >> what do you make of that bearing? he's so polite and soft toned? >> i think he's a master of deception. i think the regime, the package of bashar and his wife is very seducti seductive. it draws you. how could someone who seems so
reasonable command such a horrific regime. >> illustrating what tabler calls his two faces. he's trained as op thammologist, has facebook accounts and enjoys being seen with his glamorous wife in paris and from his bunker seen killing tens of thousands of his own people. what will he think about now? >> he will think about how will i react to these strikes. what we can see from past strikes is bashar does very little in terms of a direct response but over time he might carry out other kinds of attacks on american assets. >> that means the military group hezbollah, a key ally, might carry out some asymmetrical attack on american interests. assad is likely talking to them right now about a possible response the american air strikes if they come along with his other close friend, iran. >> thank you so much, brian. u.s. secretary of state john
kerry said there is overwhelming evidence for taking action in syria. he said the president is taking exactly the right step to do it. his argument next. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief.
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congress will vote no, gloria. i believe this case is powerful and grows more powerful by the day. i can share with you today blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody, from east damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of serin. each day that goes by, this case is even stronger. we know that the regime ordered this attack, we know they prepared for it. we know where the rockets came from. we know where they landed. we know the damage that was done afterwards. we've seen the horrific scenes all over the social media and we have evidence of it in other ways and we know the regime tried to cover up afterwards. the case is really an overwhelming case. but the president really felt very strongly that congress an the united states weighing in
ma makes our nation stronger in whatever action we take. >> doesn't it worry you, you have put this heavy responsibility on a congress that is notoriously paralyzed and divided? >> we have confidence, they're good people in the congress of the united states. i know they've been politically, it's been difficult, but this is a matter of national security. it's a matter of the credibility of the united states of america, it's matter of upholding the interests of our allies and friends in the region. jordan, which is threatened by what is happening, israel, turkey, lebanon, all of which, as i said the other day, are just a stiff breeze away from chemical weapons being used. there are huge interests here. in the long term, gloria, what we may or may not have to do if we cannot find a peaceful resolution with iran or what we may do with north korea, all these things are part of a
continuum of decision making that is made in foreign policy. we believe the congress of the united states will recognize that responsibility and do what is right. >> but, mr. secretary, the head of the council on foreign relations, for example, says that in fact, president obama has gone -- these are his words, from leading from behind to not leading by going to congress. he says that it raises doubts about the united states reliability and determination. can i get your response on that? >> absolutely. of course you can. the fact is that the president of the united states is leading and leading very powerfully and leading in the right way. if he didn't do this, i can hear all the critics saying why didn't the president go to congress? he could have asked, he had time to ask. it didn't make a difference? >> but then they could ask why didn't he go sooner? >> the president made his decision first and he announced his decision. his decision is that he believes
the united states of america should take military action to deter assad from using these weapons and to degrade his capacity from doing so. now, that's the president's decision. but he wants -- >> no matter what congress does, no matter what congress does? >> he has the right to do that no matter what congress does. that is his right and he asserted that in his comments yesterday. but the president believes, and i hope we will prove to the world, that we are stronger as a nation. our democracy is stronger, when we respect the rights of the congress to also weigh in on this, and since it is not an emergency overnight, as we saw in a place like libya, where people were about to be slaughtered, since we have the right to strike at any time if assad is foolish enough to engage in yet another attack, we believe it is important, before this takes place, to have the full investment of the american people and of the congress. >> what are you telling the
syrian opposition now? they're clearly counting on military action sooner rather than later? now, it's been delayed. >> sometimes the wheels of democracy require us to take an extra day or two to provide the legitimacy our founding fathers contemplated in actions that we take. i talked yesterday to the president of the syrian opposition. i believe he understands that america intends to act, that we are going to continue to support the opposition, that we may even, as a result of this, be able to provide greater support to the opposition, and do a better job of helping the opposition to be able to continue to fight against the assad regime. i think that they will be stronger, we will be stronger in the end. it's amazing to me to see people suddenly standing up and taking such affront at the notion that congress ought to weigh in. i can hear the complaints that
would have taken place if the president proceeded unilaterally and people said, why didn't he take the -- >> mr. secretary, it seems -- i think the questions are being raised because it seems that from the onset of this, over the last couple of weeks, it self-esteems that the president was poised to take action sooner rather than later. you came out and said it matters if nothing is done. >> it does matter, gloria. none of that has changed. >> why didn't he decide to go to congress immediately if it was so constitutionally important? >> because the president needed to gather the evidence and have asked me and others to make judgments and ultimately, to make the case to the american people. >> did he conclude he didn't have enough political support in the country to go it alone that way? >> absolutely not. the president of the united states asserted yesterday, you know, that he has the right and i believe he has that right, but the president made -- i think, a
very courageous decision. just because he disappointed some people who thought -- who thought, without any basis, that he was setting up to go take a strike, doesn't mean that he didn't reserve the right to make the judgment that he made. no decision is made by a president until the decision is made. this president did not make the decision until he finally came to the conclusion that he wanted to take this to congress, in order to have the greater strength of the american people speaking as a whole. i think it's a very -- i personally believe at a time when the institutions of governance are being doubted by many people, i think this is a very courageous decision. i think it is a big presidential decision and no one should misinterpret it, particularly assad or the opposition. >> but it's also risky, mr. secretary, isn't it? i mean, the risk is if congress were, and i know you don't expect this, if congress were to
vote no, and then the president were to strike, wouldn't that set up a constitutional crisis? >> the president has the right, and he has asserted that right, that he could do what's necessary to protect the national security of the united states at any point in time. the president believes that we are stronger as a nation when we act together. the branches of government that are designated with powers with respect to foreign policy. and so the president has made his decision and he courageously went out yesterday and announced his decision to the nation and the world. he believes that this -- this outrageous attack by assad merits the united states joining with others to stand up and defend the international norm with respect to the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons. the president announced that decision and now he has asked
the congress of the united states representing the american people to join in -- with him in that decision. >> mr. secretary -- >> and we are stronger there's value in going through this process. i talked with a number of nations that offered to be helpful. no decisions have been made of what shape that will take but i believe that there are many -- the arab league has already spoken out. voices of new zealand, japan. i think the world takes enormous affront at this incredible abuse
of power, this, you know, this attack on decency and incredible crime against humanity. i think voices will grow over the next days as people see the evidence. >> and -- >> and that evidence is becoming more powerful every day. as i mentioned to you, we now have the additional evidence of the signatures of saran gas from the first responders. >> is this the united nations? is this from the united nations or -- >> no. this is independent. it came to the united states. it is independent. it is confirmation and so the case gets stronger by the day and i believe the case for action will grow stronger by the day. hanging out with this guy. he's just the love of my life. [ male announcer ] getting to know you is how we help you choose the humana medicare plan that works best for you. mi familia.
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syria. it is extremely deadly and cnn's chris lawrence reminds us why the international community banned the use of these weapons. warning this report contains many graphic and disturbing images. >> reporter: describing this video as disturbing doesn't do it justice. but some attach a different word. proof. >> i have absolutely no doubt this was a chemical weapons attack. >> reporter: amy smithson is studying the use and affects of chemical weapons for years and it was the child in this video that erased all doubt. >> maybe 5 years old and the twitching of the eyes and the mouth and the arms were all going in different directions at different times. that simply cannot be coached in a child of that age. >> reporter: here's another. with white foam pouring out of his nose. what is that and what does it mean? >> well, it's one of the hallmark symptoms of exposure to
a nerve agent. it could have been a cocktail of chemicals, not just classic warfare agents like saran or vx. >> reporter: victims can die within ten minutes of saran gas. even contaminated clothes can hurt you. iraq used saran in the 1980s killing thousands. the japanese cult used saran in terrorist attacks in the mid-'r09d. the people treating the victims don't have any sort of respirators on. why aren't they infected, as well? >> there's an attempt to wet the people down to decontaminate them. that's what decontamination in a rush is all about. making sure that they're at least doused with water if not soapy water and the clothes are taken off. >> reporter: nerve agents blind victims causing them to choke
and spasm. >> like this, see the spasms. >> reporter: these images of the dead show no signs of a conventional bomb bloost. >> there you see gaping wounds. >> reporter: chris lawrence, cnn, washington. >> the capitol hill briefing on the situation in syria has just wrapped up. the white house meeting with members of congress. a live update from capitol hill next.